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British Women Composers

The Southwest German Chamber Orchestra and their Principal Conductor, Douglas Bostock, recoded Volume 3 of the CD series "British Music for Strings" for the German CPO label 16 - 19 November. Aided by the eminent expert on all things connected with British music, Lewis Foreman, Douglas put together a programme of music by female composers, all of which are world premiere recordings.

The oldest work is a Suite for Strings in E major, Op. 1a by the doyenne of Lady composers in Great Britain, Dame Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), originally written for string quintet (like Schubert's, with two cellos) as Op. 1 in 1883. Her own reworking of the score for string orchestra is lost. The last recorded performance was in 1890. Douglas reconstructed the double bass part and retouched some details of the scoring to recreate the Suite. History being recreated in sound! Ethel Symth's portrait can be seen below.

The other composers are Susan Spain-Dunk (who was championed by Sir Henry Wood), Constance Warren and Ruth Gipps (whose 2nd Symphony Douglas recorded some years ago as part of the "British Symphonic Collection"). The CD will be issued in the first half of 2021.


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